Electromobility has experienced an impressive rise in recent years. This development has also had a huge impact on the logistics industry, which is increasingly looking at integrating electric vehicles into its fleets. According to the study “Preparing the world for zero-emission trucks” more than half of newly registered lorries in Europe, the USA and China will be electrically powered by 2035.
Companies such as Amazon and UPS have also started to use electric delivery vans in their fleets. In future, Amazon parcels will increasingly be delivered by electric delivery vans from the US manufacturer Rivian.
Why electric driving will be relevant in the future
There are many reasons for companies to switch to an increasingly electronic fleet. However, the following aspects are decisive:
On the one hand, they want to make a contribution to sustainability and protecting the environment. The costs for maintenance and electricity are also lower than those for fossil fuels in the long term. The total cost of ownership for battery-electric and fuel cell-powered trucks is expected to be lower than for diesel-powered trucks in almost all segments by 2030.
In addition to cost and sustainability reasons, stricter regulatory requirements, such as the threat of driving bans for diesel vehicles in major cities, are causing increasing problems.
The challenges of e-mobility for logistics
There are currently still few electric vehicles on the market that can replace conventionally powered lorries, both in terms of range and charging capacity. The charging infrastructure is also a problem that has not yet been sufficiently clarified. Limited ranges and regular recharging require careful planning of routes and charging stations in order to minimise interruptions to operations.
This is exactly where route planning comes into play. Well thought-out route planning for electric vehicles takes several decisive factors into account:
Range and charging infrastructure: Route planning must ensure that electric vehicles have sufficient range for the planned route and that sufficient charging stations are available along the route.
Loading times: The planning must also take loading times into account in order to avoid delays. Ideally, tours should be planned in such a way that loading processes can take place during breaks or deliveries and additional breaks do not have to be forced.
Traffic conditions: As with conventional vehicles, traffic jams and traffic problems can lead to delays. High energy losses, for example due to increased speeds on the motorway, must also be taken into account.
The use of electric vehicles in logistics is currently particularly interesting for short distances in city centres, for light transport vehicles and the "last mile". The extent to which companies will integrate electrically powered vehicles into their fleets in the future remains to be seen, as there is still a lot to do before then. One thing is certain: companies that invest in advanced route planning software and systems are well positioned to benefit from the advantages of electromobility.